Monday, April 22, 2002 - Latest News
Nystad Named New US Head Coach

PARK CITY, UT (April 16) - Former World Cup athlete Bard Jorgen Elden, a U.S. coach since the 1999 season, has been named U.S. head coach for nordic combined while Denver University Coach Trond Nystad has been appointed head coach for the U.S. cross country program, Nordic Director Luke Bodensteiner said.

Elden, 33, a native of Namdalseid, along the coast north of Trondheim, Norway, and a 1992 Olympian, competed in combined on the World Cup tour through the 1997 season. After retiring, he joined the U.S. coaching staff as a development coach, working with juniors and World Cup-B athletes.

Nystad, 31, the 1992 NCAA 20-km classic champion for the University of Vermont, also is a native of Norway, growing up in Fauske, a fjord town south of Narvik. After graduating magna cum laude from UVM in 1994 with a degree in business, Nystad was named head coach for cross country skiing and running at Northern Michigan University. After two years at NMU, he joined the DU staff where he is cross country running head coach and has assisted his twin brother Knut in coaching the Pioneers' cross country ski team; DU has won the NCAA ski championship the last three seasons.

In an announcement Tuesday, Bodensteiner said, "Bard's been successful at every level with his coaching, from medals at the World Junior Championships - including two more this winter - to World Cup-B victories.

"Trond, who was an outstanding skier when he was racing, may not have the World Cup experience but he's got an outstanding background, having worked with top collegiate skiers from Europe, and he's comfortable in the international setting. They've both been around the athletes they'll be dealing with so that should accelerate their transition and adjustment to our national program," he said.

"What's most attractive about the position," Elden said, "is that we have a really great group of athletes and we can expect a lot from them in the future. We have some of the best depth on the World Cup right now. Winning the World Cup-B Nations Cup this year is a great sign of that depth. The U.S. Ski Team is a really solid organization right now which I believe in. And there are great opportunities for our nordic combined athletes."

Nystad, who also earned a master's degree in business at DU, added, "I've been fortunate to have been exposed to how different countries have found success and I think I have a good knowledge of the American system. The U.S. team is coming off a very successful season and I want to build on that success. The big challenge, to me, is to build a strong and cohesive unit, use the certain aspects the Ski Team provides for such great support - such as sport science - and pay attention to the details."

Elden lives in Heber City, UT, while Nystad is expected to move to the Park City area during the summer.

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